Silent Hill

Trip Start Nov 03, 2009
Trip End Jul 15, 2010

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Flag of Cambodia  , Kâmpôt,
Friday, February 19, 2010

Took a taxi straight away from Sihanoukville as none of us could bear the thought of staying there another night, sadly Don hadn't sorted his visa for Nam so he had to stay there to get that sorted after Tết (Vietnamese/Chinese New Year) had completely finished. Bit of pain but we would meet up again somewhere no doubt.

Landed in Kampot after around 2 hours, our main reason for visiting this place was to trek up to Bokor Hill Station which is an long abandoned and incredibly eerie old hotel/casino complex built in the 1920's for the French social elite who were living in Cambodia at that time and needed a bit of respite from the searing heat in the capital.

Kampot is a really sleepy town with not a great deal going on which was fine with us as we all wanted to chill-out after the more manic parts of Cambodia previously done. Famous for Kampot pepper which is lush with just about anything apart from milk and being almost completely destroyed by the Khmer Rouge during the dark times Kampot oozes classic French influence and is a thoroughly nice place to chill out for a few days.

Phil was too ill for the trek through Preah Monivong National Park so it was just myself, Sofie & Simon who made the 2.5 hour journey through the jungle in 30+ degree heat. It was seriously hot, we were all soaking wet within half an hour and sadly due to it being dry season all these lovely waterfalls with multiple levels we stumbled past were little more than trickles, but a welcomed head & face refresher nonetheless.

After trekking through dense jungle we arrived where the 4x4 was to take us up the road for the rest of the way. The 'road' was under construction and you need permission to drive on it as Sokho the massive hotel chain have decided to build a massive new casino and hotel pretty much in the same location as the old one. We were lucky to get there before the whole place was little more than one massive construction site.

We loved Bokor Hill, it's like no other place in Cambodia and is quite surreal. For more information on the place check wikipedia.

Our guide was good for laugh too and filled us in with the finer points and it's history. We wandered around the complex for about 3 hours taking pictures and such before heading back down through the jungle which was probably more trickier than when going up. On the way back we stopped off at what is known as the 'Black Palace' which was a summer retreat for King Sihanouk and abandoned in 1977. Not really a palace more-so a bungalow resembling something you could easily see anywhere in England - the kitchens were bigger than the palace! Still, it was worth investigating en route down to the jungle.

That was it really for Kampot/Bokor and so we headed to our 7th country on our world tour, the ever resilient Vietnam.    

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